It’s mid-winter once again, and we all know what that means: the time of the year where the fountain of quality movies has seemed to have run dry. However, much like the prospectors of the California Gold Rush, avid moviegoers have to sift their figurative pans through a lot of brackish water before they can find the gold nuggets. Well, your search is over- Guillermo Del Toro’s Mama, which crept its way into theatres on Jan. 18, 2013, is that refreshing moment of discovery.
Despite the somewhat unflattering trailers and bizarre, monosyllabic title, Mama surprises audiences with gorgeous scenery, a commanding performance by a convincing cast, and spectacular visuals that are reminiscent of Del Toro’s Pans Labrynth. Oh, and one must not forget the sheer thrills and terror that are sprinkled generously throughout the film.
Mama is the story of the relationship between two orphaned girls and a lost spirit, whom they affectionately refer to as Mama. Previously, Victoria and Lilly (exceptionally portrayed by Megan Charpentier and Isabelle Nelisse) had been taken to a remote cabin in the woods (we won’t spoil too much of it) and were abandoned.
Five years later, they are found and are sent to live with their uncle Lucas and his girlfriend, Annabel. (played by Jessica Chastain) The girls are withdrawn and animal-like. Annabel, who is in charge of taking care of them after Lucas is rendered comatose, discovers that they came with the paranormal baggage that is Mama, the film’s main antagonist. She is one of the few creatures in movies whose appearance will continue to make you cringe long after her “pop-up” scenes have come to a close.
Filled to the brim with mystery, suspense, surreal imagery, and scenes where you will literally drop your popcorn and cower on the shoulder of the person next to you, Mama is definitely the must-see movie event of the month.